hun·​gry | \ ˈhəŋ-grē \
hungrier; hungriest

Definition of hungry

1a : feeling an uneasy or painful sensation from lack of food : feeling hunger
b : characterized by or characteristic of hunger or appetite a wolf with hungry eyes
2a : eager, avid hungry for affection
b : strongly motivated (as by ambition) hungry investors a power-hungry politician
3 : not rich or fertile : barren a hungry soil

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Other Words from hungry

hungrily \ ˈhəŋ-​grə-​lē \ adverb
hungriness \ ˈhəŋ-​grē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hungry


empty, famished, peckish [chiefly British], starved, starving


full, sated, satiate, satiated, satisfied

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Examples of hungry in a Sentence

There are millions of hungry people throughout the world. That girl is always hungry. The prisoners' families were hungry for more information. They were hungry to learn more.
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Recent Examples on the Web

By being an enormous public figure, Musk has created ecosystems based entirely on himself: his fans, of course; a community of shorts; several whistleblowers; various publicity-hungry public servants. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO," 21 Dec. 2018 Supporters cited his 25-year career as a parliamentarian as evidence of his commitment and self-restraint — in contrast to some of the country's more power-hungry political leaders. Krishan Francis, Fox News, "Calm opposition leader wins Maldives presidency amid storm," 24 Sep. 2018 At least one money-hungry rat broke into an ATM and chewed through nearly $18,000 in cash, authorities in India said. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Hungry rats shred more than $17,500 of cash inside ATM in India," 22 June 2018 Unfortunately, this bird also has a nasty habit of pecking at the device and its wire, so operators often have to give the camera a jiggle to get the curious, possibly fame-hungry, flyer to move on. Kelli Bender,, "WATCH: Australia Traffic Camera Becomes One-Bird Show for Curious Cockatoo," 4 June 2018 Now, the team's main goal is to make sure those playoff-hungry fans stick around once the 2018-19 season begins. William Guillory,, "Not an NBA town? New Orleans TV ratings tell a different story," 3 June 2018 With any luck, Dantas’ hungry bacteria will help, by preventing resistance from evolving in the first place. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 Players will have dozens of methods for approaching the mission, including feeding each of the men to the same rather hungry hippo, Liebold tells me. Nick Statt, The Verge, "How Hitman 2’s developers turned its gigantic levels into ever-evolving playgrounds," 18 Oct. 2018 From morning till night, hungry patrons flock to these casual eateries to chow down on hearty comfort foods and people-watch from tables on outdoor terraces. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Parisian Bistro Is Disappearing," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hungry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hungry

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hungry

Middle English, from Old English hungrig; akin to Old English hungor

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Statistics for hungry

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for hungry

The first known use of hungry was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of hungry

: suffering because of a lack of food : greatly affected by hunger

: having an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach because you need food : feeling hunger

: feeling a strong desire or need for something or to do something


hun·​gry | \ ˈhəŋ-grē \
hungrier; hungriest

Kids Definition of hungry

1 : feeling or showing hunger
2 : having a strong desire She was hungry for power.

Other Words from hungry

hungrily \ -​grə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on hungry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hungry

Spanish Central: Translation of hungry

Nglish: Translation of hungry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hungry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hungry

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